Do you suffer from leaky gut? If so, you’re not alone. Leaky gut has become quite common, with many people not realizing they are victims of this mysterious ailment. In this article, we will discuss what leaky gut is, what causes it, and the best ways to overcome it.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
A leaky gut is described as a condition where bacteria, toxins, food particles, and other harmful items are able to pass (or leak) through the intestinal wall. Even though leaky gut syndrome isn’t officially recognized by the medical community, a weak immune system, headaches, excessive fatigue, chronic diarrhea, autoimmune issues, depression, and even acne are just a few potential symptoms of leaky gut. Many people could be taking medications for these and a host of other issues, not realizing the true source of their issues is leaky gut syndrome.
What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
It is believed that many of the things we take for granted today may be causing leaky gut syndrome. For example, many medicines, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs are known to irritate the stomach lining. Other potential causes of leaky gut include alcohol, processed foods, and eating foods that a person may be allergic too. While consuming any of these items occasionally may not have a significant impact on our health, continuous use could increase a person’s risk of having leaky gut syndrome over time.
Step 1: Get on a Gut Healing Diet
One of the keys to healing the gut is eating healthy foods and avoiding those with little nutritional value. By consuming foods that can help strengthen and repair the intestinal wall, the body is able to heal itself naturally.
Gut Healing Foods
When attempting to heal leaky gut, increasing the amount of good bacteria in that sensitive area is key. The following foods are believed to help improve gut health:
- Fermented veggies (tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi)
- Traditional veggies (Cabbage, arugula, carrots, eggplant, kale, spinach, mushrooms, zucchini)
- Good fats (avocado, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil)
- Dairy products (cultured products, including yogurt, Greek yogurt, buttermilk)
- Nuts & seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, peanuts, almonds, all raw nuts)
- Fruit (bananas, coconuts, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapples, oranges, passionfruit, lemon, lime)
- Fish (all omega three rich fish, salmon, herring, tuna, etc.)
- Roots and tubers (yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, turnips)
- Herbs and spices (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, etc.)
- Beverages (water, coconut milk, tea, bone broth)
- Lean meat (beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, eggs)
These nutritious foods provide our bodies with the energy it needs to repair itself, as well as stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Foods to Avoid on a Gut Healing Diet
In addition to eating healthy foods, it’s important to know which foods to avoid. When attempting to heal the gut, the following foods should be avoided:
- Gluten products (rye, bulger, barley, seitan, etc.)
- Junk food (fast food, candy bars, potato chips, etc.)
- Processed meats (deli meats, hot dogs, cold cuts, etc.)
- Refined oils (sunflower, safflower, canola, soybean)
- Dairy products (ice cream, cheese, milk, etc.)
- Sauces (Soy sauce, teriyaki, salad dressings, etc.)
- Snack foods (pretzels, popcorn, crackers, etc.)
- Beverages (sugary drinks, carbonated beverages, soda, alcohol)
- Wheat products (pasta, bread, couscous, wheat flour, cereals, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, etc.)
In addition to leaky gut, many of these products have been linked to a variety of health issues, including obesity, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and cancer. Decreasing the consumption of these foods should be a top priority.
Step 2: Try Gut Healing Supplements
In addition to eating a healthy diet, there are many supplements designed to stimulate the production of good bacteria and heal the gut. Here are a few of the best supplements on the market for leaky gut:
Created by Dr. Shayne Morris, LGUT Leaky Gut Mastery is considered the first line of defense in decreasing intestinal permeability. Apple cider vinegar, turmeric, black radish, grape seed extract, and zinc (chelate) are just a few of the powerful ingredients in LGUT.
MBC - Microbiome Colonizer was specifically created to strengthen and improve the health of the G.I. tract. This is accomplished by using powerful probiotics that help to naturally strengthen and support the body’s immune function.
Other benefits of MBC include the following:
- Helps to preserve vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients
- Mimics the naturally occurring probiotic activity found in garlic, onions, bananas and asparagus
- Produces protective enzymes that supports the gut’s immune system
- Balances bowel pH levels
- Produces lactic acid similar to those found in fermented foods
- Helps ward off harmful bacteria in the gut
- Aids in the digestion of dairy products
FBR - Fibers For Intestinal Health offers a unique blend of herbs, probiotics and soluble fiber. In addition to assisting with leaky gut, FBR helps support a healthy colon, bowel, and cardiovascular system. This is accomplished by stimulating the elimination of toxins naturally via healthy digestion.
Cranberry, flaxseeds, chia seeds, organic quinoa sprout, carrot fiber, and coconut are a few of the nutrients included in this psyllium- free product.
Step 3: Manage Stress
In addition to watching what we eat, managing stress is an important way to improve gut health. Long term stress, (or chronic stress) can wreak havoc on our digestive system. For example, stress could cause a decrease in blood flow to our stomachs, which might lead to an increase in bad bacteria and the simultaneous reduction of good bacteria in our guts. This imbalance could increase the risk of having leaky gut.
This is important because many don’t understand how stress can affect them. As a result, they may seek treatments that are ineffective, not realizing its stress that made them sick in the first place. In other words, if you don’t know how to effectively manage stress, taking medicine to relieve your symptoms will be futile because the root cause of your health issues still exists.
Exercise, deep breathing techniques, getting a hobby and talking about your problems are great ways to manage stress.
Thanks to poor diets and chronic stress, many people in today’s society are at risk for having leaky gut syndrome. The majority of the symptoms are quite common, which can make the correct diagnosis a challenge. It’s critical that we are proactive and do everything we can to keep our guts healthy.
By watching what we eat and managing our stress levels, we can keep our guts healthy, which will decrease the risk of having leaky gut syndrome. For those that have leaky gut syndrome, and supplements are two excellent ways to cure leaky gut. Start taking care of your gut today. Your body will thank you.